9/8/2016 – Response from Orange County on Signal Light for University Estates

From: rj@rjmueller.net [mailto:rj@rjmueller.net]

Sent: Thursday, September 8, 2016 1:42 PM
To: ‘John.Klimovitch@ocfl.net’ <John.Klimovitch@ocfl.net>
Cc: ‘Mark.Massaro@ocfl.net’ <Mark.Massaro@ocfl.net>; ‘Joe.Kunkel@ocfl.net’ <Joe.Kunkel@ocfl.net>; ‘Renzo.Nastasi@ocfl.net’ <Renzo.Nastasi@ocfl.net>; ‘Ruby.Rozier@ocfl.net’ <Ruby.Rozier@ocfl.net>; ‘ChingSheng.Yang@ocfl.net’ <ChingSheng.Yang@ocfl.net>; ‘Brian.Sanders@ocfl.net’ <Brian.Sanders@ocfl.net>; ‘Christine.Lofye@ocfl.net’ <Christine.Lofye@ocfl.net>; ‘Mayor@ocfl.net’ <Mayor@ocfl.net>; ‘Ted.Edwards@ocfl.net’ <Ted.Edwards@ocfl.net>; ‘victoria.siplin@ocfl.net’ <victoria.siplin@ocfl.net>; ‘Scott.Boyd@ocfl.net’ <Scott.Boyd@ocfl.net>; ‘pete.clarke@ocfl.net’ <pete.clarke@ocfl.net>; ‘jennifer thompson’ <district4@ocfl.net>; ‘Jennifer.Thompson@ocfl.net’ <Jennifer.Thompson@ocfl.net>; ‘bryan.nelson@ocfl.net’ <bryan.nelson@ocfl.net>; ‘Ted.Edwards@ocfl.net’ <Ted.Edwards@ocfl.net>; ‘Jon.Weiss@ocfl.net’ <Jon.Weiss@ocfl.net>; ‘Ed Higgins’ <ejhiggins7693@gmail.com>; ‘John Chitty’ <jchitty@gmail.com>; ‘bettyboopdodoop@yahoo.com’ <bettyboopdodoop@yahoo.com>; ‘Taylor Ellis’ <taylorellis@cfl.rr.com>
Subject: RE: Lake Pickett North Community Meeting

Mr. Klimovitch,

Under normal circumstances I would agree with you regarding warrants but this is a very abnormal situation.

At this point in time, the residents in University Estates don’t care about warrants.  We care about getting out of our neighborhood safely.  It is the obligation of the county to maintain the Level Of Service on the county roadways and we all know that the Level Of Service on McCulloch is dismal and does not meet county standards.  It is an “F” rated road and the trips during peak hours far exceed the 800 limit for a two lane road.  The volume during peak hours is 1,300, far above what the county is obligated to maintain.  This must be taken into account.

It is also the obligation of the county to protect its residents.  Let me point out the accidents on this roadway in the past year between 7/1/2015 through 6/30/2016.  According to FIRES, there have been 13 accidents in the stretch of road in front of our community with 31 vehicles involved.  10 people were injured; that is almost one a month in this very short ½ mile stretch of road.  This will not get better when McCulloch is 4-laned and can only get worse.  Does someone have to die on this stretch of roadway in order for the county to fulfill its responsibility to its citizens?

This is a very extraordinary situation and I would venture to say that this stretch of road is one of the worst in all of Orange County.  Considering this, a traffic light is most definitely required.  Please don’t talk to us about warrants and requirements while Orange County is not fulfilling its obligation to its residents.

Again, we demand a signal light at this intersection.  Mayor Jacobs or another commissioner, perhaps you could make an exception in this case and bring this to a vote at the next board meeting.


RJ Mueller

FIRES accidents on McCulloch Rd

FIRES accidents on McCulloch Rd

FIRES accidents on McCulloch Rd

FIRES accidents on McCulloch Rd



From: John.Klimovitch@ocfl.net [mailto:John.Klimovitch@ocfl.net]
Sent: Thursday, September 8, 2016 8:23 AM
To: rj@rjmueller.net
Cc: Mark.Massaro@ocfl.net; Joe.Kunkel@ocfl.net; Renzo.Nastasi@ocfl.net; Ruby.Rozier@ocfl.net; Mayor@ocfl.net; ChingSheng.Yang@ocfl.net; Brian.Sanders@ocfl.net; Christine.Lofye@ocfl.net
Subject: RE: Lake Pickett North Community Meeting

Dear Mr. Mueller,

This is in response to your request for a traffic signal on McCulloch Road at Worchester Drive.  Before a traffic signal is installed, the intersection must meet one of the warrants for signalization found in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.  I have attached the section of the manual that describes the warrants.

Our previous studies of McCulloch Road and Worchester Drive (west intersection) showed that none of the warrants were met for signalization.  Side street volumes were not large enough to satisfy the volume warrants.

Of course, we will be willing to re-study the intersection if conditions change, such as the widening of McCulloch Road.  We appreciate your observations and comments on traffic safety and operations.


John Klimovitch
Traffic Engineering
Orange County Public Works


From: Massaro, Mark
Sent: Wednesday, September 07, 2016 1:27 PM
To: Mayor; Rozier, Ruby; Klimovitch, John; Nastasi, Renzo; Kunkel, Joe
Cc: Klimovitch, John
Subject: RE: Lake Pickett North Community Meeting


Please respond, Ruby is away . Thanks

Sent via the Samsung GALAXY S® 5, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone qwe1


——– Original message ——–
From: Mayor <Mayor@ocfl.net>
Date: 09/07/2016 1:01 PM (GMT-05:00)
To: “Rozier, Ruby” <Ruby.Rozier@ocfl.net>
Cc: “Massaro, Mark” <Mark.Massaro@ocfl.net>, “Klimovitch, John” <John.Klimovitch@ocfl.net>, Mayor <Mayor@ocfl.net>
Subject: FW: Lake Pickett North Community Meeting


Please review request highlighted below and provide response.

Thank you as always!


 Danny Rivera, MPA
Special Assistant to the Mayor
Office of Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs
201 South Rosalind Avenue
Orlando, FL 32801
Phone: 407-836-7370
Fax: 407-836-7360

Mayor Jacobs, her staff and all Orange County employees are proud to serve the public.  Our shared values help us deliver on the promise of exceptional service to the citizens we serve.  Mayor Jacobs expects all employees to demonstrate fairness, integrity and character, excellence and innovation, professionalism and accountability, and have a strong work ethic by providing outstanding customer service as we carry out our duties to the taxpayers and citizens of Orange County.


From: rj@rjmueller.net [mailto:rj@rjmueller.net]
Sent: Wednesday, September 07, 2016 10:03 AM
To: Mayor; District5, Mail; District1, Mail; District2, Mail; District3, Mail; District4, Mail; Edwards, Ted B (Commissioner); Boyd, S. Scott (Commissioner); byron.nelson@ocfl.net; Siplin, Victoria (Commissioner); Clarke, Pete (Commissioner)
Subject: Lake Pickett North Community Meeting

Mayor Jacobs and Commissioner Edwards,

Another check box checked!  I think that is how the residents of East Orange County feel about the community meeting last night.  Despite every person in the room strongly against this project because of the roads and environmental concerns, Commissioner Edwards pushes on and supports the developers.  I had to leave early but someone told me that Commissioner Edwards said we, the residents, can’t make up our mind about traffic.  First we want it fixed then we don’t.  That is absolutely not true.  We want traffic fixed, period.  But what we don’t believe is that these improvements will fix traffic.

I listened to the developers traffic planner tell us how these road improvements will fix our traffic problems.  I also listened to Commissioner Edwards tell us how development is tied to road improvements.  He said road improvements are tied to development and if the road improvements are not made then the development can’t proceed.  The big problem with that is I, as well as many others, are convinced the improvements won’t fix our traffic problems and is only temporary relief.  So if a road is improved such as 4-laning McCulloch the developer can proceed only to find in 10 years we are worse than we are now with the developer long gone leaving us with a worse mess and limited options.

These restrictions on the development is just simply not enough. 

I want to emphasis that we are against this development, the bridge and the McCulloch extension and the demands below is only if this moves forward.

I have 700 petitions against the bridge to prove it. http://savetheecon.com and SOC has over 10,500 petition signatures.  What more do you need?

If you decide to move forward, then there has to be stricter requirements on development. First, here is what the residents of University Estates want.  We want a light at McCulloch and Worchester.  Especially if McCulloch is to be 4-laned.  We will never be able to get out into traffic without a light.  We are not requesting a light; we are demanding a light.

I am also demanding this.  Development needs to be tied to Level of Service (LOS) and not just LOS but trips; not just road improvements.  We know that an “F” on a 4-lane road is 2,000 trips during peak times.  If you decide to 4-lane McCulloch and that brings the road to a LOS of “C” then if the road falls to a “F” or greater than 2,000 peak hour trips, development stops until remedies are put in place to raise the LOS out of “F”.  Readings need to be taken every 6 months.  This way, the residents are protected against McCulloch becoming over-capacity in 10 years.

If the developer and the county is confident these traffic improvements will fix our traffic problems as was portrayed to us last night, then the county and the developer should gladly agree to this demand.  We want protection if things go wrong.  We are owed this as residents of Orange County.  The county has the obligation to maintain the roads at an acceptable LOS which is just not the case now and will not be in the future unless we demand it.  Orange County is not meeting its obligation to its tax-paying residents.

Contrary to what Commissioner Edwards said, we want our roads fixed but we want them fixed right.


RJ Mueller

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wag the dog

4/8/2016 – Is the tail wagging the dog?

I was thinking about the idea of building a bridge over the Econ and the massive amount of additional traffic this will bring and decided to write this blog.  I am going to talk specifically about “GROUND ZERO” (Lockwood to N. Tanner on McCulloch).  This is by no means an isolated case.  This happens county wide and explains how development is in control of infrastructure in many cases.

Ground Zero - Lockwood to N. Tanner on McCulloch

Ground Zero – Lockwood to N. Tanner on McCulloch

How should the county handle GROUND ZERO? (in my opinion)

We know the stretch of road is bad.  We see it every day.  It is rated an “F” on Level Of Service (LOS) rating with 1,300 trips.  That is a really bad “F” as shown in the diagram below.

Lockwood to McCulloch LOS

Lockwood to McCulloch LOS

Orange County is required to maintain an acceptable LOS (Level of Service).  This is only my opinion but I think what should happen is Orange County should look at this roadway and do a study to determine the best way to bring the LOS rating up to an acceptable level.  For example, perhaps widen GROUND ZERO to 4 lanes.  An “F” rating for a 4 lane road is 2,000 trips so by doing that, the road would be at an acceptable level as 1,300 is well below 2,000.  There are complications to 4 laning McCulloch that need to be sorted out and personally I am not too excited about the idea because I live on McCulloch and I am not sure how this would work.  Many questions need to be answered with the most obvious being is there enough room to build a 4 lane road.  I think Seminole County would have to be involved in the decision and as far as I know they are not on board.  Also, there are other options that are better and should be considered first.

What is a better option?  Orange County could find a way to divert traffic off of McCulloch onto other roadways to reduce the trips such as add the Richard Crotty Parkway as shown below.  Most of the traffic that comes onto McCulloch in the morning flows up N. Tanner.  We know that a good portion of this traffic is directly related to UCF and Research Park.  By adding this roadway, traffic will be diverted into UCF and Research Park reducing the trips on McCulloch and will most likely bring it into an acceptable LOS which is down below 880 trips.  But a traffic study would have to be done to determine if that is the case.

In either case, this does not include any development or a bridge across the Econ.  

But this is NOT reality or even possible given the way Orange County operates.  Read on ….

Richard Crotty Parkway


What is reality and how this works in Orange County?

In the case of GROUND ZERO, here’s how it works.  Refer to the concept plan below.  A landowner bought the Rybolt land in the hope they could re-zone the land and develop the property at a much higher density than it is zoned  now.  But the developer knows there will be resistance from residents so they have to find a way to overcome the resistance and in this case the developer is contributing money called “proportional share” to help “fix” roads thereby partnering with Orange County.  This entices Orange County to favor the development in addition to the perceived tax revenue it will gain.  Revenue is a subject for another time.  I believe the number that is being considered is 16 million.  So Orange County takes the 16 million and the developer builds a bridge, a road, AND 1,999 homes of which 50% of the traffic will dump onto McCulloch and will keep this road a “F” rated road.  My own unverified calculations are 1,300 trips plus 1,000 trips from this development = 2,300 trips which is an “F”.  This does not include additional traffic that will use the road which will come from Seminole County as well as over the bridge from who knows where.

The bridge is proposed for one reason and one reason only and it is not to serve existing property owners.  It is to serve this development.  The proof of that is the configuration of the roadway after the crossing as well as who is driving the bridge idea.  The bridge is not proposed by Orange County, it is developer driven.  The road snakes its way through the development with three roundabouts along the way intended to slow traffic.  This road is not designed to move traffic.  It is designed to discourage pass through traffic.  If it were being built for the existing property owners living close by to access McCulloch it would be a straight shot over to 419 allowing for maximum throughput.  Notice there is no entrance on 419 in the northeast corner so if a person lives in this development at the northeast corner wants to go up 419, they would have to exit way down on Lake Pickett and drive all the way back up.  Conversely if a person lives on 419 and wants to go to McCulloch they would have to drive all the way down to Lake Pickett and then access the road from there and that driver may then opt to use Lake Pickett instead because it might be faster than snaking through this development.  Does that make sense?

There is another hidden factor that no one is talking about.  The property just north of this in Seminole County.  It is vacant land right now and I have heard the property owner there would love to develop it.  Can you imagine another block of homes going in up there and an entrance made to this road with that traffic coming across the bridge.  GROUND ZERO becomes a parking lot.  What are we talking about, 500, 1,000, 2,000 more trips onto McCulloch.  Don’t you think this should be examined much more closely instead of this being pushed through at light speed?

In my opinion, this development does nothing to “fix” our roads and only compounds an already existing problem.  Read on ….

Conceptual Regulating Plan

Conceptual Regulating Plan

In summary, all this does is continue the spiral downward and does nothing to fix the roads for the long term.  Orange County needs to stand on it’s own two feet and stop relying on developer money to fix roads.  If history is any indication, it has proven that this model doesn’t work and in the case of “GROUND ZERO” will just lead to more of the same.

Many people, residents, your neighbors, who are intimately involved with both Lake Pickett North and Lake Pickett South have looked at the road issues from every angle possible and I think a common theme has emerged.  The theme is there is no way our infrastructure in this area and the way the roads are laid out will ever be able to support the density of Lake Pickett North at 1,999 units.  There is a saying that goes, “Don’t fill a 5 lb bag with 10 lbs of ….”.  Fill in the blank yourself.

This is a Trojan horse.  It sounds great but will just lead to more gridlock west of the Econ.  And don’t forget Lake Pickett South.  If Lake Pickett South is approved, it will bring even more traffic to Lake Pickett, N. Tanner and McCulloch.

Orange County must stop allowing development to control infrastructure and find ways to fund the roads without developer money.   How can one district in Seminole County that is smaller in terms of tax base make 250 million in improvements, (read here) and our district in Orange County which is much larger has to resort to using developer money to “fix” infrastructure and try to scrape together money to fix roads.

I will give credit to Orange County for securing 200 million in bonds for infrastructure but according to a presentation by Renzo Nastasi, traffic manager for Orange County, what is needed is 1.6 billion.  200 million hardly puts in a dent in what is really needed for county wide improvements.  This 200 million is less than what one district in Seminole County is spending on infrastructure.

I know Seminole County has a one cent tax that contributes about 125 million each year to a defined list of roads.  Why doesn’t Orange County do the same?  Orange County could generate 350 million a year with a once cent tax and in five year fix every road in the entire county without developer money.  Why are we being held hostage to development?  Does this make any sense at all?

The tail is wagging the dog.

wag the dog

wag the dog

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The bridge is not the solution

4/5/2016 – Ground Zero at McCulloch and N. Tanner

The intersection of McCulloch and S. Tanner has become GROUND ZERO for traffic problems considering this new idea to cross the Econ at McCulloch Road.

Why am I completely against this crossing AT THIS TIME?

Numbers!  Purely numbers and facts!

LOS = Level Of Service.  LOS is a designation that Orange county uses to rate roads.  As shown below from the traffic study for the Lake Pickett North (LPN) (Rybolt) development, the section from Lockwood to N. Tanner is rated “F” (Exist LOS on the chart).

There is no worse designation!

Notice the cap of 880.  880 is the threshold that takes a road from “D” to “F”.  Notice the 1,300 (Peak Hr Volume).  This means that this section of roadway is 1,300 – 880 = 420 trips above an “F”.  In English, it is a really really bad “F”.  Like your kid getting a 30% on a test.  That’s a really bad “F”.  So this section is really bad.  You say, “What else is new, we all know that”.  Read on….

Lockwood to McCulloch LOS

Lockwood to McCulloch LOS

Let’s project some numbers based on LOS.

880 is an “F” for a 2-lane roadway.
2,000 is an “F” for a 4-lane roadway.

Let’s just say that Orange County 4-lanes McCulloch Road in this section so an “F” becomes 2,000 trips.

Without LPN, traffic is already at 1,300 so it is not an “F” if it were 4-laned but still not good.  LPN wants 1,999 homes.  Peak trips are about 2,000 trips overall and if you look at the little diagram below you see 50%.  That number means that LPN is going to contribute 50% of the peak trips or about 1,000 trips onto that section of roadway.

LPN percentage traffic on McCulloch

LPN percentage traffic on McCulloch

1,300 + 1,000 = 2,300 making that section of roadway an “F”.

And don’t forget the other mega development with over 2,000 units with traffic that will come over on Lake Pickett and up N. Tanner to the exact same interchange causing even more problems.

Don’t forget the traffic from the north that would otherwise go across on 419 coming instead down Lockwood or Old Lockwood to GROUND ZERO!

Folks, as good as it sounds to put this road in now and as much as you want to support this, it is by no means a solution.  All this will do is just add more cars to an already congested road and we will be in exact same mess or worse.

The solution is to first fix connectivity on the west side of the Econ and put in a 4-lane road called the Richard Crotty Parkway that goes from the end of Research Parkway over to N. Tanner.  This will divert traffic off of the section on McCulloch that is already an “F” and give it relief.  It will also provide a south entrance to UCF from the east as well as a way into Research Park.  After all, the developers have told us that the bulk of people who will be living in their houses will work at UCF or Research Park so doesn’t it make sense to give them a better way to get there.  My feeling overall is the density the developers on Lake Pickett North is too high for the infrastructure to handle and must be reduced.

Richard Crotty Parkway

Richard Crotty Parkway

Orange County must put this road in first before even thinking about crossing the Econ at McCulloch.

Key note:  Orange County must maintain roads above a certain LOS.  How will putting a bridge across the road fix anything given that in time, this road reverts right back to an “F”.

Any good soldier knows that the most critical factor in any war is supply line.  You can’t fight a battle with a broken supply line and that is exactly what Orange County is thinking about doing.  First you must strengthen your supply line before moving forward.  Fix the roads on the West side of the Econ before even thinking about crossing over.  Putting in another road across the Econ into a broken road system doesn’t solve the problem.

If you have read down this far, here is my view on LPN.  The density is way to high.  It is a land locked area with no good ways to move traffic and no way to effectively accomodate all the traffic.  It is also in an environmentally sensitive area located right next to the Econ.  If this is going to be a viable development, density must be reduced.  It is just too high.  On another note, no thought has been put into multi-modal transportation like buses, bicycles or other forms of transportation.  We are stuck in the world of cars and it is the reason our traffic problems are so intense.




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3/12/2016 – Cost of 408 extension

Many of us have seen the plans to extend the 408 from the end at Hwy 50 to 520 with one option being an elevated highway. It seems we aren’t the only ones with this idea. The Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority voted to spend about $2.6 million for an engineering firm to update plans for elevated lanes over Gandy Boulevard in Tampa. The total cost of the 1.6 miles will be between 165 million to 190 million.

This is about the same distance as our “Segment 1” which runs from the end of the 408 to Avalon Parkway. From Avalon Parkway to 419 is about twice this distance so it would cost over 300 million for “Segment 2” alone so a very ball part estimate puts Segment 1 and Segment 2 at about 450 million. That is a lot of money. Can CFX absorb that cost as this extension will not pay for itself for many years to come. I certainly hope CFX can work magic as we need this road desperately. Then comes “Segment 3” which goes from 419 to 520 and is the same length as both Segment 1 and Segment 2 combined so double the amount comes out to 900 million.

My disclaimer is my estimates are based on nothing more than the cost of the elevated highway over Gandy Boulevard. We are way to early in the project for CFX to estimate the cost so don’t take these numbers as anything more than my math. They did not come from CFX. Does this seem right or am I way off base?

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3/8/2016 – SR 408 PD&E Study Public Workshop

CFX invites you to an Alternatives Public Workshop regarding potential transportation improvements to SR 408 Eastern Extension from State Road 50 to the SR 50/State Road 520 intersection in east Orange County. The purpose of this Public Workshop is to provide the public with an opportunity to review and comment on the alternatives developed for the project. Representatives from the PD&E Study team will be present to answer your questions concerning the presentation, display boards and the alternatives evaluation process and results.

The meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 8, 2016, at the Eastpoint Fellowship Church, located at 15060 Old Cheney Highway, Orlando, Florida 32828.

SR 408 PD&E Study Public Workshop

SR 408 PD&E Study Public Workshop

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Traffic in East Orange County

2/14/2016 – Here’s what I know about the latest on roads in East Orange County

Here is what I know about the roads.

The Grow conceptual site plan

The Grow conceptual site plan

Let’s start with the project at Lake Pickett called “The Grow” which is the transmittal phase now and due to come up for an approval hearing soon.

“The Grow” is contributing 28 million in impact fees and proportional share money that will be allocated like this.  16 million will be used to advance the widening of Hwy 50 from the Econ bridge to 419.  This widening is on the FDOT long range plan but is currently unfunded.  When it does become funded and the money is allocated, the state will send the money back to Orange County, not “The Grow”  to be used somewhere on Orange County roads.  The other 12 million will be used to widen 419 from Hwy 50 to Lake Pickett Road.  This is the contribution from “The Grow” to the road issues we have in East Orange County.

What about the other county roads?

Over capacity segments in 2030

Over capacity segments in 2030

As you may know the mayor secured 300 million in bond money for Infrastructure that is under a name “INVEST in Our Home for Life” but is just called “Invest”.  200 million of this is allocated to the roadway system while the other 100 million to other infrastructure needs such as 15 million for bike and pedestrian improvements and other multi-modal transit projects.  28 million has been designated to be used in East Orange County.  Orange County is planning on widening McCulloch to 4-lanes from N. Tanner Road to Lockwood Blvd.  This will take a portion of the “Invest” money allocated to East Orange County.  The county does not currently have plans for the remainder of the funding until a traffic study is completed which is either underway now or will be underway soon.  The study is being paid for with “Invest” money.  We will not know where this money will be used or how until this study is complete.

Everything is on the table and is being considered in this traffic study but nothing is decided which includes the following:

  • A bridge over the Econ at McCulloch.  Notice I did not say to 419 but is certainly being considered
  • Widening Lake Pickett to 4 -lanes
  • A road from Lake Pickett to Woodbury
  • Widening Lake Pickett from Percival to Hwy 50
  • The Richard Crotty Parkway
  • Anything else that is discovered
408 Expansion Corridor Map

408 Expansion Corridor Map

Let’s dispel some myths that I have heard people say are definite.  Nothing is cast is stone such as:

  • Widening Lake Pickett from Percival to Hwy 50 is not cast in stone
  • A road from Lake Pickett to Woodbury is not cast in stone
  • A bridge over the Econ at McCulloch is not cast in stone

Let’s not forget the extension of the 408.  The second project group meeting is coming up and I will have an update in 2-3 weeks.

I have also heard that MetroPlan is performing a traffic study of the entire region which is a separate study from the one Orange County is performing so it will be interesting to see how that turns out.  Keep in mind these studies take time.  Many months in fact so be very patient.

It is great to see this focus and attention to our area and plans coming together to fix these roads.  But we still have a long way to go.

Richard Crotty extension

Richard Crotty extension

For example, the Richard Crotty Parkway, the red line on the map.  I cannot imagine the traffic studies not showing this road as a vital part of the roadway system.  We need another east-west road to move traffic.  We need connectivity from east-west to really create efficiency in our road system.  See a prior post about “Who Lives IN The DMZ Zone” and the second one called, “What is the DMZ Zone“.   Watch this video to see the DMZ Zone and connectivity.  I cannot imagine a bridge over the Econ at McCulloch unless the Richard Crotty Parkway is part of this study.  What that would do is have three east-west roads in the Rural Service Area crossing the Econ funneling down to two inside the Urban Service Area.  That would make no sense at all.  But Research Park is not too excited about the Richard Crotty Parkway and UCF is silent and neutral.

Also, Seminole County is not to thrilled with widening McCulloch or crossing the Econ at McCulloch so we will have to see how that plays out.

Sustany conceptual site plan

Sustany conceptual site plan

Let’s also not forget Lake Pickett North which was called “Sustany”.  I have heard this is coming back most likely in the the 2016 second cycle so we will have to see what that project looks like and how this will impact traffic.  The 2016 second cycle is from about September, 2016 to March, 2017 so the application will be submitted and you can expect community meetings a couple of months before September/October time frame.

But I am encouraged that we are moving in the right direction.  I have to admit I was somewhat dejected a while ago until I talked to some people recently and learned much of what I am relaying on to you.  In the world of Infrastructure wheels turn very slow and patience is all important.  All we can do is keep moving and keep coming up with ideas on how to keep this issue at the forefront in the minds of our elected officials to ensure we get the attention we deserve.



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296 multi-family apartments going in just east of the 408 on Hwy 50

Last night I had the opportunity to attend the Community Meeting for the 296 apartments proposed just to the east of the 408 on Hwy 50. They are on the corner of Bonneville Road and Hwy 50. I was not in favor of the apartments.
The apartments look very nice and the concept is good. They are higher end apartments catering to professionals and will not be student housing. The developer is the same group who put in the apartments on the north side of Hwy 50 to the west of Woodbury next to the Publix. I think they are called EOS apartments.
But with that said, I am not in favor of these apartments given our current traffic woes here in East Orange County. The timeline to complete these apartments if approved is the end of 2017 which is right about the same time as the 6 laning of Hwy 50 will be complete. We already know that even 6 laning Hwy 50 is only a temporary fix and the hope is the 408 will be extended but there is no guarantee of that happening as the study is in process now and won’t be completed for another year.
The traffic from these apartments will only add to the existing bottleneck. Traffic in the morning will try to find alternative way to go east and some will end up on Lake Pickett to Tanner and onto the already over-burdened McCulloch Road as it is the only other east-west roadway. Until we have a solid plan on how traffic on McCulloch is going to be reduced, it would be very negligent to approve this apartment complex.
In addition to this the parcel of land is actually 20 acres and these apartments will occupy only 10 of the 20. This could be the reason the application is under 10 acres as that is considered small scale and has less hurdles to jump over. So what happens down the road to the other 10 acres. Perhaps another 300 unit apartment complex or commercial which will add more congestion. I don’t see how the landowner will leave 10 acres undeveloped.
I sort of feel sorry for the landowners and developer of this property as they have a great idea and I am sure the apartments are great but with all our traffic problems this is just at the wrong time and place. This is like blocking the smallest part of an hour glass as these apartments will be at ground zero of all the problems on Hwy 50.


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Traffic on McCulloch – 1/11/2016 – the semester has begun!

This video shows traffic on McCulloch Road on November 18th at 8 am when UCF was in session, on December 16th when the semester ended and also traffic on the first day of the semester – 1/11/2016. All of these times were at about 8 am. This morning was chaotic for drivers on McCulloch. It is apparent that traffic dramatically increases when UCF semester is in session as opposed to when it is not.

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Watch this video with suggestions to help make UCF roads more bike friendly

I rode through UCF on my bike to see what kind of improvements the roads needed to make them more bike friendly. You may not know this but Orlando and Central Florida has one of the worst bike and pedestrian records in the country. I was expecting to find a drastic need for bike lanes and other major improvements but what I found was quite surprising. While there is need for improvement, I didn’t find anything drastic. With some minor effort the roads could be made much safer for cyclists.

So why don’t students commute more on bicycles to school. My feeling is the main problem is driver awareness. I am under the firm belief that most drivers don’t think bikes should be allowed on the roads much less be in the same lane as a car. This is the mindset that must change if we ever expect our roads to be safer for pedestrians and cyclists which in turn will help reduce traffic congestion.

This video shows some very simple and inexpensive ways to greatly improve the roads inside UCF and make them safer for cyclists. I believe the cost of these simple changes will pay back in dividends with a reduction in energy costs, parking spaces and even health benefits.

Please share this video to help make these changes within UCF to get more people commuting by bicycle.

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